On-fire Queenstown ice hockey teen Mitchell Frear is fast charging through the national ranks.
The 17-year-old, who’s just been picked to represent New Zealand as a member of the Ice Blacks, is also the youngest member of the 22-strong team.
The defence player was picked for honours after an impressive trial in Auckland recently, mum Luana Frear says.
“Mitchell wasn’t expecting to make it. He thought he’d be in the squad, but just for development.
“It’s quite a big feat to make the team.”
The Wakatipu High student joins fellow Queenstowners Braden Lee, Jamie Moore-Carter, Bert Haines and Brett Speirs, who have also made the squad.
Before Mitchell heads to Melbourne in April for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Division 2 Championships with the Ice Blacks, he’ll fly to Romania with the NZ under-18 team to compete in the IIHF Division 2 comp.
“He’s very excited. I think he’s more worried about the time he’ll have off school but we’ll talk to the school and deal with that,” Frear says.
Mitchell is one of three siblings who are all talented sportsmen.
Older brother Cameron, 20 – also a well-known ice hockey player – is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce at Otago University. He’s switched from playing for the Southern Stampede to becoming vice-captain for Dunedin Thunder in the national league.
Lachlan, 14, is a member of the NZ under-18 ice hockey development squad. He also represented Otago Country in a recent under-16 tournament and has played in senior men’s teams.
Mum Luana says her boys work hard to pay for their sports but she welcomes any sponsorship – Mitchell’s travel costs will be about $8000 for the two world championships
“We as a family are very grateful for the support and sponsorship, especially within our community.”